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Fatah leader dismisses Abbas illness 'rumors'

April 20, 2010 9:12 P.M. (Updated: April 22, 2010 10:32 A.M.)
Bethlehem – Ma'an – President Mahmoud Abbas is perfectly healthy, a top Fatah official insisted Tuesday amid Arabic-language news reports that the PLO chief is seriously ill.

Fatah Central Committee member Azzam Al-Ahmad dismissed as rumors a report by the London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi that Abbas loyalists were covering up his condition.

Al-Ahmad told Ma'an that Abbas' doctors had asked the Palestinian leader to take it easy for six weeks after he was was lightly injured when falling in his hotel room in Amman last month.

Al-Quds reported that Abbas has visited a private hospital in Jordan several times in recent weeks for treatment in a special wing, and that he has asked doctors to keep his illness under wraps.

Abbas, 75, has served as head of the PLO since 2004. He was elected president in 2005.
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